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Grateful Dead Live at Laguna Seca Recreation Area on 1988-07-29

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Grateful Dead Live at Laguna Seca Recreation Area on 1988-07-29

Set 1

Iko Iko, Walkin' Blues, Candyman, Queen Jane Approximately, Althea, Blow Away, Cassidy-> Deal

Set 2

China Cat Sunflower-> Crazy Fingers-> I Know You Rider-> Playin' In The Band-> Drums-> Space-> The Wheel-> Gimme Some Lovin'-> Believe It Or Not-> Sugar Magnolia, E: Black Muddy River

Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Venue Laguna Seca Recreation Area
Location Monterey, CA

Source SBD -> Cassette Master -> Dat -> CD
Lineage CD -> Adobe Audition v3.0 -> Samplitude Professional v11.03 -> FLAC
Transferred by Charlie Miller


-- Encore moved to end of Set 1 to fit show onto 2 discs
-- Encore can be re-joined with Set 2 seamlessly
-- There is some distortion on the low end of the recording
-- Thanks to Joe B. Jones for his help with the pitch correction


Reviewer: tonymannara - favoritefavoritefavorite - December 8, 2015
Subject: Rough but worth it
First set was good enough, not great but grooved with moments. I actually thought the Candyman here was pretty tight and soulful, underrated. The Blow Away is nice, not the best ever, but solid. A tight Althea, again nothing extraordinary but solid and I could hear this song every night with no complaints. The Cassidy jam gets pretty out there, and certainly is a sign of things to come in the second set. Solid Deal, typical 88, again not a mind bender but good.

China->Crazy Fingers->Rider is cool just for the fact it never had been done, but not near the greatest version of any of those tunes IMHO and rarity don’t necessarily make it good. Minor flubs aside the Playin’ is good and the jam gets straight up freaky, with Brent in particular getting WAY out there. It leads to Drums where Mickey just gets INSANE on the pads and BEAM. Tough night to dose. Amazingly trippy good. A fairly pedestrian Wheel but another song I could hear every night. Its about this time I realize the boys voices just aren’t great on this night like they would be a year later…but so? Despite really fired up Phil, who plays a great show here, they seem to lumber through Gimmee Some Lovin…but some midi from the boys and drum pads from Mick make it interesting. Believe It or Not is a real highlight of this show and arguably the best version I have heard, with Brent church organ really taking it to another level. Somewhat strained and lifeless Sugar Mags…you can still boogie to the jam for sure, fun, but sloppy.

By the way this really is a good mix especially given the source. Plenty of PHIL and with great tonal accuracy, and not short at all on Brent’s keys which are my single favorite element of this era. Overall though this was a bit of a hard listen for me, hard to work to or game to. Lots of tension and dissonance. I can see really being sore the day after boogieing down at this show. A real grind of a show. Better than many I saw though and any GD show is a good show. Glad I heard it, glad it’s over, looking forward to tomorrow night. A SOLID 3 stars.
Reviewer: Mind Wondrin - favoritefavoritefavorite - October 27, 2015
Subject: Lap it Up
Finally, a better source for this show. Patched, pitched, balanced, with lows & highs. Gotta love it.

This show/mix has lots of Brent (whom I loved, loved, loved). Though official releases have (until recently) shied away from '88, there are some great shows from the year and the band was putting effort into shaking things up a bit - at the time there was lots of talk about how they sounded "different" than '87. I wanted to go to these shows but (IIRC) I worked to save up some money so I could catch the NW shows instead. Laguna-Seca from the previous year had the reputation of being a dust/dirtfest (a parking lot inside a racetrack - albeit laidback and with camping) so the prospect of the Pacific NW just sounded better. Remember how you'd get psyched and convince yourself that such-and-such a show's going to be the killer? Gambler's fallacy I guess. Anyway, turns out taping wasn't allowed (something to do with Los Lobos or something?) so we didn't get to hear these shows for a long time and by then '88 had become lost in the jumble of those great '89 shows; which makes this Miller SBD even more prodigious.

First Set. Average until a tight (but not very risky) Althea. If Blow Away is yr thang, this one's almost as good at Albany '90 (starting here & through the 1st set this source has some low-end signal distortion that also sounds scooped). One of the hottest Deals of '88 ends the set.

Second Set. Seems like a spoiler, but you've already looked at the set list, so just imagine you're standing there getting your shake on, thinking "ok, a decent enough China going down, here comes Rider" when the microbus it's in takes a left turn off the freeway where you could have sworn there wasn't even an exit. When Fingers finally dissolved into Rider I wonder how many heads thought that Fingers had happened only in their minds? I can imagine out in the lot, alot of, "Hey, I see you wrote the setlist down. Can I take a peek?". Playin' isn't pulled off perfectly but it takes chances with a cool jazzy breakdown that doesn't want to submit to the resolving coda. But does it? Listen and find out, my friend. Drums is one of Mickey's intense, usually-reserved-for-indoors, sound-samples-and-beam oddities. Believe It is one of the better versions. At the time it seemed like they never nailed this one, though mainly because it was abandoned and not developed (after '88 they pulled it out once in '90). However, in retrospect, it was much better than some of the new songs in the 90s that never developed melody, cohesion or even discernible structure at all. Bobby flubs Sugar Mag. Surprised?

The track order is from the 2xCD and doesn't match the titles in the player for the 2nd set.
Crazy Fingers plays BMR
Rider = China Cat
PitB = Crazy Fingers
Believe It = Wheel

Show is Known for:
Playin' - Used for the So Many Roads box
China>Crazy Fingers>Rider - The only such segue ever
Believe it or Not - One of six played in '88 and 7 ever

1st Set: C
2nd Set: C
Overall = 2 1/2 Stars

Blow Away - a top version
Deal - one of many good '88s
China>Crazy Fingers>Rider - one of a kind and good
Wheel>Gimme Some Lovin' - totally pulled off

CAVEAT: On the archive some reviewers rate every show 5 stars; maybe 'cause they love the band. But out of over 2,300 shows. This means 460 are their 1-star shows and ostensibly 460, at the most, are 5-star shows (in a bellcurve reality, a dozen per year in years like '80, twice as many in years like '77 and '72 and just a couple in leaner years, like the mid 90s). Shows were awesome. They made you feel great by the time you and thousands of your new buddies skipped and floated out of the venue and into Shakedown Street. Highlight moments forced you to either reel your mind back or just snip the tether - and they didn't always occur inside the show. But that even happened at what are, objectively, 1-star star shows in retrospect and therefore shouldn't influence ratings here because it renders the rating system untenable. Of course some people feel the sidereal scorecard should reflect source/file quality (though I would argue that's not the paramount topic/concern that it was 20 or, even 5 years ago). Hopefully nobody is reviewing after using their laptop speakers or bassless earbuds. Point being, if they're all perfect, best-they-ever-played shows, how do we know which ones to give our listening time?

SOURCES. Miller 106034 is best. The RussjcanSBD runs too fast by ~3% (over a halftone). The AUDs are not from the taping section and have muffling, rustling, swimming and chatter.
Reviewer: doug_the_dude - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 30, 2014
Subject: --
Gotta wholeheartedly agree with the 5-star reviews on here, and, yep, esp. regarding the chaotic madness that envelops that started-AND-completed pre-drums Playin' - hang on for that one, folks....

But this show is loaded with plenty of other gems: check Bobby's guitar on Althea and throughout - he really has some wild stuff going on...really, this entire first set is an eyebrow-raising surprise...and Jer's Believe It or Not as a 2nd-set post-Space ballad? Unusual, yeah, but it works, kinda...neer was one of Jerry's more celebrated ballads, but I like the tune.

There are a handful of great '88 shows; I'd rank this one up there.
Reviewer: sugareesupreme - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 22, 2012
Subject: Don't hate 88 - This Is Worth Your While!!!!
I often overlook 1988 because I remember it as a rather staid year compared to the sheer exuberance of 1987 and the majestic peaks of 1989. I saw nine shows on the East Coast spring tour in 88 and six of the September shows at MSG, ending with Jerry having no gas left at the Rainforest benefit. But this show brought to us with Charlie Miller's usual deft touch is well, well worth soaking in - from start to finish (OK, I skipped the BMR). Hearing Jerry G. so spry and nimble in Aiko brought back how great it was to see him past his mid 80s melt down. The inflection in his voice tells you how much fun he was having.
Two things stand out for me: One, the Blow Away has ABSOLUTELY ZERO back-up vocals. I'll have to check if that was normal for these other early iterations, but certainly the Boys were singing behind Brent when the song got so prominent in 1989. Check out 10/19/89 at the Spectrum and you can tell Brent, all too sadly, really meant what he was singing. I always dig this song and like the stark Brent going it alone style. Rest in peace, brother - we miss ya'! Second, the very genuine and spontaneous cacophony achieved in Playin' I don't doubt that slipping Crazy Fingers in between China and Rider was decided in advance, but the Playin' is pure Dead form that follows chaos. And I'll have to add a third highlight - the sweet Believe It or Not, with Jerry G. singing so sincerely.

My problem in 1988 must have been too many East Coast shows, especially the Northeast!!! Take a ride down memory lane and visit the serene surroundings of California Dead in this beautiful time capsule.
Reviewer: revzaius - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 21, 2012
Subject: 5 stars
Reviewer: Teaklee - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 9, 2011
Subject: 7-29-88
3:30 - 3:34 of the playing in the band is the kind of magic that only the grateful dead can pull and why I love them so much.
Reviewer: BIG_R - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 30, 2010
Subject: 7-29-88
Good show. Excellent remaster by Charlie. Lots of Phil in the mix.
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